Hosea 2:6-7. Therefore I will hedge up thy way with thorns, &c. That is, with difficulties and distresses; and make a wall Hebrew, גדרה , a stone fence. I will effectually block up her way, and surround her with great calamities. That she shall not find her paths That she shall not know which way to turn to extricate herself from them. And she shall follow after her lovers She shall seek for help of her idols, and her idolatrous allies, but shall receive none. Or, as Archbishop Newcome paraphrases the words, “For some time she shall remain addicted to her Egyptian and Syrian idols, and to all her former idolatrous and immoral practices: but without carrying her evil wishes into execution.” She shall seek them, but not find them A proverbial expression denoting lost labour. She shall seek for favour and succour at her lovers’ hands, but all in vain, they shall all forsake her, and change their ancient love into mortal hatred. “It is the usual practice of the devil and his instruments,” says an old writer, “to bring men into the briers and thorns, and there to leave them to shift as they can. Thus the Pharisees dealt by Judas; What is that to us, say they, see thou to that: they left him when they had led him to his ruin.” God deals very differently with his people. As in very faithfulness he afflicts them, that he may be true to their best interests: so when they follow hard after him, and seek him as David did, they are sure to find him; if they search for him with all their heart, Jeremiah 29:13. When they meet with disappointments it is in mercy, and they are chastened of the Lord, that they may not be condemned with the world. Then shall she say, I will return to my first husband, &c. Her afflictions will bring her to a sense of her duty, and of the happiness she enjoyed as long as she cleaved steadfastly unto Jehovah the true God.
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